News from DSIRE: week of October 4, 2010

ARKANSAS – Rebates Available for Non-Residential Renewables
The Arkansas Renewable Technology Rebate Fund is now open for non-residential systems. Rebates based on a system’s first-year energy production are available for PV, wind and solar water heating. The program will close March 31, 2012 – or sooner, if funds expire.

CALIFORNIA – Energy-Storage Standard on Horizon
California enacted legislation in late September directing the CPUC to open a proceeding by March 1, 2012, to consider requirements for investor-owned utilities to procure energy-storage systems. The CPUC was granted broad authority to make this determination. The new law also requires the governing boards of municipal utilities with more than 60,000 customers to consider similar requirements for energy storage.

CALIFORNIA – New Rules Mandate 33% RPS
The California Air Resources Board has adopted regulations to implement the state’s RPS policy, which requires 33% renewables by 2020. This standard applies to investor-owned utilities and public utilities.

MINNESOTA – Fresh Funding for Residential Renewables
The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency is offering $2 million in refunding to support rebates for energy efficiency and renewables for homeowners who participate in the state’s Fix-Up Fund Home Improvement Loan Program.

OREGON – Quasi-FIT with Reduced Rates Back in Action
In the first round of Oregon’s performance-based incentive for solar, which resembles a feed-in tariff, the allocated capacity filled up in only 15 minutes. In response, the Oregon Public Utility Commission lowered rates for systems 100 kW or less from $0.55 – $0.65/kWh to $0.45 – $0.585/kWh for systems in the service territory of PGE and Pacific Power. The commission also recently ruled that it did not have the authority to set a price cap on the competitive bidding process for systems larger than 100 kW, as it initially had done. This cap was removed and the bidding process was conducted again. The second round of this incentive program opened October 1, 2010. PGE will offer payments to systems totaling 2.1 MW, and Pacific Power will support systems totaling 1.4 MW.

TENNESSEE – Solar Program Managers Need a Vacation
Through the Solar Installation Grant Program, the Tennessee Solar Institute has committed more than $9 million in federal stimulus funds to 108 solar installations on businesses. These funds will support 5.8 MW of solar energy in Tennessee, more than tripling the state’s existing capacity. In addition, the state’s Solar Innovation Grant program, which provided $14.5 million in funding to lower production costs, to increase renewable energy and energy efficiency in operations, and to create training programs, has stopped accepting applications.

WISCONSIN – Utility Quasi-FIT Fully Subscribed
Alliant Energy’s performance-based incentive for solar and other renewables is fully subscribed, and the program has closed. This program offered 10-year payments of $0.25/kWh for solar and $0.0735/kWh – $0.12 for certain other renewables.

FEDERAL – Bonus Depreciation Extended to CY10 Installations
The federal Small Business Jobs Act included a provision that extended bonus depreciation, previously available under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), to systems installed during CY2010. Bonus depreciation generally allows a business to deduct 50% of the cost of a qualified investment during the year it was placed in service.


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